Monday, March 2, 2015

Breaking Down the Walls

Hi Friends,

Receiving a Grant, joining the Flat Class Global Educator Course (FCGE), and reading so many incredibly helpful blogs has invigorated my desire to blog and share what is going on in my classroom. I hope it may be useful!

Innovate - 
http://www.flatconnections.com/k-2-building-bridges.html


This year, along with a small team and virtual friend that I have never met, I put forward a grant for the 2014 LRNG Educator Innovator Grant. While we were not one of the LRNG Grant recipients who received full funding, we were happily awarded a with small inquiry grant to break down the walls of our classroom, transcending time and space, to create connected learning spaces for our young learners. A large part of the grant was a vision that isn't possible with the small stipend, so in our search for other ways to break down the walls of our classroom, we look at connected learning projects that we could join. The first one that we, Dianne Shapp, (the teacher who I have only met through online collaboration projects) and I, have taken on is to sign up for the Globally Collaborative projects - Walking The World and the K-2 Building Bridges Flat Class Project.  Add to that the Flat Connections Global Educator Course and you have a winning combination for 'flattening' our classrooms. I hope to bring you along with me on this journey!

http://walkourworld2015.weebly.com/




Create - 

Here's my create tip for this post:  Use Thinglink to create resource for your classroom.
Thanks to two colleagues and my FCGE class, I have been introduced to Thinglink.  After hearing about it for the third time in a week, I finally had the opportunity to spend some time figuring out this easy to use tool. Which, like as many of you must do, consists of watch Youtube Tutorials on how to navigate the app. Here's one of the ones I watched.
Here is the product of my learning. While playing around I created a resource for a lesson tomorrow: Tiger Thinglink.  We are studying endangered animals, and I have used the Tiger as a case study, since we have Tiger Kingdom right around the corner from our school and we live in an area where tigers very recently roamed freely.  I only created a few little dots (tags) on the Tiger and hope to co-create more with my class tomorrow as a way of showing how we might create a digital resource to inform and share with others as a way of taking action.

Relate - 

Whether its time spent of breaking down the walls of the classroom, preparing to connect learners, learning new technologies, or just having time to plan for my class, or provide feedback on assignments; I never seem to have the time for it all.  Can you relate?
When do you find time to blog?  Do you often blog in your head, only to find that those thought never reaches the page, let alone the screens of others?
It's an important question, it is part of the IB PYP Learner Profile that I teach - Balance.  How do you find balance?  Balance between work and play?  Work and family?





I'd love to hear your comments.
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